Review: Canton Tea Co. Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co., Keemun Tea Add comments
K’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I have rarely had such a wide discrepancy between how I think a tea tastes and how I've been told it should taste."
K’s Teaview: 7.7/10
Other Teaviews: Geoff gave it 8/10, Troy gave it 8/10, Erika gave it 8/10
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cantonkeemunhaoyaThis is my first Canton Tea Co. tea, but I am already rather excited about the company. They have a broad range of higher-end teas, including some especially unique offerings. A quality Keemun, while not a particularly rare find, tends to be a bit harder to come across than some of its more accessible black tea counterparts.

The leaves are small, tightly-rolled, and curled. Though little, they are uniform and unbroken, and very visually appealing. I steep 1 teaspoon in 6 ounces of 212° water for 3 minutes. The resulting cup gives me an impression far removed from what the Canton Tea Co. website describes and what I expected. I taste a meaty, hearty tea with a touch of tartness in the aftertaste. I do get a somewhat floral finish, reminiscent of chrysanthemum, but other than that I don't get many of the qualities described on the site. Try as I may, I cannot read any natural sweetness. I ask my husband his views, and he tastes it much the same way I do, leading me to think this is a bit of a chameleon tea, which can be read differently by different tongues.

I let the second infusion steep for 5 minutes. Enough flavour has been pulled out, but the taste has been somewhat sacrificed. It is nowhere nearly as well-balanced as the first cup. The depth of flavour has been lost, and the cup is very delicate. It is more floral than the first but less rich overall. I would do a second steep again, if only to make the leaf go a bit farther.

I have rarely had such a wide discrepancy between how I think a tea tastes and how I've been told it should taste. I have enjoyed the experiences nonetheless, and would probably buy this despite my not getting the impression others gave me. Unfortunately, that makes my review almost entirely useless because I can't guarantee you'll taste the tea as I did, as the experts at Canton did, or as something else entirely. Though not knowing is often half the fun, so I recommend it.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Keemun Hao Ya Black Tea, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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